Zenith is one of the oldest watch manufacturers, est.1865 and one of only a handful which has always produced its own movements. The company has an almost unparalleled record of technical achievements and notably, in 1929, Zenith won world renown at Kew Observatory (England), when a Zenith wristwatch won first prize for an accuracy of better than 0.6 seconds per day. During the late 1940’s and throughout the 1950s, Zenith held the lead in producing the most commercially successful and technically advanced, chronograph wristwatches. Later, Zenith became the first in 1969, to develop a high-frequency automatic integrated column-wheel chronograph powered by the legendary El Primero movement beating at 36,000 vibrations per hour. This obsession with precision, as well as this constant quest for technical innovation, has been duly rewarded; the Manufacture has been awarded 2,333 chronometry prizes as well as eight medals, making it the most titled brand in the field of precision. The company has also provided a huge number of movements to many other manufacturers for their more technically advanced watches, including even Rolex for their Daytona Chronograph!
The 1960s saw Zenith introduce some of the finest watch movements available from any manufacturer when technically, the company was very advanced. The watch we have here is an excellent example, having a semi hi-beat movement and an 18ct Pink Gold watch case. This watch also features what we now see as a slightly retro-futuristic look with the date position in the ‘different’ position of 4:30 hours.
The gold dial, with gold black inlaid baton hour indices and matching original ‘stick’ hands are in the classic late ‘60s, slightly high-tech style. On point, the date position at 4:30 hours suggests the watch has an advanced, or avant-garde style, which was ‘on trend’ at the time. Zenith adopted the 4:30 hrs date position during the ’60s and this has since become a Zenith trademark. It is actually a very sensible position for the date window, since as one rotates the wrist to view the date, the 4:30 through to 6 is the first part of the dial to reveal itself. This style of dial is also slightly reminiscent of the classic Mondaine SSB dial design adopted as the standard dial for use by Swiss Federal Railways.
The dial has a light vertically cut grain effect, which catches the light beautifully as the watch moves slightly on the wrist. It looks wonderful and our dial restorers have made excellent work of the restoration. This is the original dial which has been restored to the highest standards by our dial restorers which are considered to be the best in the UK.
The Zenith Calibre 2552PC movement specification is also quite special, beating at 21,600 beats per hour rather than the more usual for the time, 18,000 or 19.800 bph. When one listens to this movement ticking, one can definitely hear this is a semi hi-beat movement. Generally speaking the higher the beats per hour, the higher the accuracy of the movement, all other factors remaining the same. This movement is also known as the ‘6 beat’ because it beats at 6 beats per second. It was a very successful movement used in Zenith’s top of the range automatics, remaining in production between 1969 and 1972. Zenith led the field by around 5 years in fast beat movements around this time.
This movement has just been thoroughly overhauled and serviced by our watchmaker. This means fully dismantling the watch and movement, ultrasonic cleaning of all parts, inspection to the critical surfaces under high magnification and replacement as required with genuine new original parts, then careful reassembly and oiling, using all the correct lubricants to manufacturer’s specification before final testing and calibration. The movement is now running perfectly having been calibrated and timed at +6 seconds per day! Please note, this timing is outstanding for any watch of this age. The power reserve is still high for a semi-hi-beat movement at 43 hours when fully wound. The watch movement is signed Zenith, Swiss Made and carries the Calibre number 2552PC and the movement serial number 07136633, dating the watch to 1970.
*Please note our 12 months warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The Watch Case
The solid 18ct pink gold case is of a high quality and stylish two-piece design and measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the Zenith signed crown. The press fit case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved. It is tight fitting and presses back with a very reassuring ‘pop’. The case has been cleaned and carefully inspected and lightly hand-polished by our case-maker and shows every sign it has been well cared for and lightly used. There are no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye. The case is marked K18, 0.750 indicating this an 18ct gold case.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap and Buckle
The strap fitted is a new high quality Hirsch Chestnut ‘Croc’ leather strap with gold plated buckle. Please note – if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige, free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown burgundy and black straps in stock, in plain padded leather, alligator, crocodile or lizard skin.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating the watch to 1970. Detailed particulars will be included with the receipt, along with our 12 months Warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale, along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
The watch also comes complete with the high quality hardwood presentation box as shown in the photographs.
This is a hugely impressive and rare pink gold vintage Zenith automatic dress watch, which is ready to wear and very practical for everyday use and if treated with care, this watch will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Zenith has always benefitted from a first class reputation for the superb quality of its vintage watch movements and just like Longines, Zenith watches have also been noticeably increasing in value of late.
A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring these to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach inevitably means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are a number of well-known stores in West London which are very successful, charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept Paypal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please note we welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will be happy to Service, Repair or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions, please call our landline 020 7727 7095 or mobile 07515 949 250. If calling from overseas our landline number is +44 207 727 7095 or mobile +44 7515 949 250.
We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. If you would like some general advice regarding any aspect of vintage watches, including buying, selling, or collecting, we will also be very happy to hear from you. We await your call!
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine Vintage Gold Watches!